Welcome! Welcome! Late this summer, Mark and I will celebrate our 20th anniversary. I have spent the last several months reflecting on our time together. We have had a great marriage. We get along really well. Seriously. We have an occasional fight and there are a lot of things that we don’t agree on, but we really do get along, and yes, he drives me crazy, in all the good and bad ways. I drive him crazy, too.
But I’ve also been looking back on our years and years and years of financial stupidity. When we first got married, we took a finance class. We were taught how to save. We were taught how to get out of debt using a debt snowball. We were shown these awesome charts about how much money we could have when we retire if we just put a little bit of money away each month into a 401k or an IRA.
Mark worked at a company that didn’t offer health insurance, that didn’t offer 401k, or any of that stuff, and we had a little bit of debt so we filed the information in the back of our minds and said, “Later.” Well, later became much later because we bought a house, and started having kids, and got deeper and deeper in debt, despite the fact that Mark had a better job that offered the health insurance and the 401k. We fell into the so-called “pit of despair.” We bought into the idea that you can’t have a life without debt.
Well, here we are, twenty years later. We have big goals. We are teaching our kids extremely old fashioned ideas. We are teaching them what our great grand-parents would have taught us. Debt is a sin. Okay, we are not telling them it is a sin. But we are telling them to avoid it like the plague. (We listen to Dave Ramsey, the debt-free expert, in the car over and over.) We are hoping they go to college debt free. We are hoping that they never, ever have debt. I don’t know how it’s been for you, but as we get things paid off, it’s like getting a sack of potatoes lifted off of our shoulders.
We have never taken family vacation, except a little trip to a water park or camping. We are starting to look into the future with some hope. It is liberating. We are working our way out of it. And, with the exception of a house, we will never go into debt again. Thanks for reading!